Phil Hendrie is, hands down, the funniest human being on radio. While I think Howard Stern may be the funniest “off the cuff” humorist on radio, Hendrie is a true artiste and what he does night after night is nothing short of brilliant … almost at an Andy Kaufman-level of comic genius.
If you’ve never heard of Hendrie, here’s the premise of his show: Hendrie plays himself as a frustrated straight-man radio host interviewing people who are … to put it kindly … some of the most repulsive human beings who have ever existed. Among the wretched that Hendrie has interviewed: a man who believes you should protect children from predators by forcing them to never bathe and get fat; a man who wants to sue his wife and children for not letting him take the family savings to Norway so he can “get his head together for six months … to five years” because he fears a terrorist attack; a pornographer upset because the City of New York has denied him a permit to make a porn film at Ground Zero called “9 or 11 … Take Your Pick … Let the Healing Begin”; a woman who wants to sue her neighbor for choosing not to have a C-section because her neighbor agreed to let the woman use her baby in a “prettiest baby” contest and the woman is afraid the baby will be deformed because it’s coming out of a … well … narrower opening … and so on … and so forth. The big “secret” is that Hendrie also plays the people he is interviewing. Who’s not in on the joke? The callers who call in to tear these “guests” apart. Hendrie’s show is, hands down, the best satire of talk radio that’s ever been conceived. And every single one of shows has left me convulsing in hysterics.
As always, Maron delivers a GREAT interview with Hendrie. Hendrie dishes not only about his history and how he developed his comic genius over the years, but also gives his assessment on the current state of talk radio. If you have any interest in comedy, talk radio, technology, or media studies, this interview is essential.
And please … if Hendrie interests you at all … throw him some money at his website and get access to not only his current broadcasts and podcasts, but some of his classic shows from over the last 15 years or so. Or you can listen to some freebies through iTunes (download anything that has “Classic Phil Hendrie” in the subject line). Some may sneer and say this is just the radio version of trolling, but I would vehemently disagree. Holy mackeral, trust me when I say that this is some next level s–t!